Brian and Andrea Polizzi grew up in the Philadelphia area but have called West Chester ‘home’ for the last four years. They made the jump from the corporate world to the world of small business ownership and put their all into turning their personal favorite treat into a full time business.
They call their company Waffatopia, and will appear at the Media Farmers' Market every other Thursday.
So what exactly is Waffatopia?
Brian Polizzi: Waffatopia was founded on an idea that my wife and I got about four years ago when we went to Belgium to try what was called a carmelized liege waffle. This waffle is very special for a couple of different reasons. One: because it’s made from dough and not a poured batter and number two: it includes an ingredient called pearl sugar…we import that from Belgium and what happens is that it carmelizes on the cast iron waffle presses when we make this. So you get a nice sweet crunch in there along with a firmer texture in the waffle that doesn’t need any syrup, it’s got its own sweetness.
Is this your own business and is it a franchise?
No, this is actually our own business. We hope one day to maybe franchise.
Besides the Media Farmers' Market on Wednesdays where else do you sell?
We currently sell these every Saturday at the Artisan Exchange Market (in West Chester) which is also where we produce these waffles. We sell at the East Goshen market. We sell at the PRC Newtown Square Farmers Markets and soon we’re hoping to bring this product online.
What’s involved in making the waffles? Is this something I can make on my own?
We sell it packaged, we do all the hard work because this is a multi-day process that requires a lot of special equipment and imported ingredients. We like folks to say ‘Waffatopia did all the hardwork. I just take this home and I heat it up in my oven or toaster oven and can enjoy it for breakfast or an anytime treat.’
Since you’re putting this in the toaster what’s the difference between your waffles and an Eggo?
These are made with dough, not poured batter so these are a gourmet yeast-fermented products which take multiple days to make. They’re made fresh, they don’t have any preservatives, no trans fats so they’re not your typical manufactured, frozen bulk item. This is truly an artisan product, quite difficult to make and highly unavailable in the U.S.
Are you the only ones who do it, as far as you know?
There are a few folks who do this across this great land of ours. But I would say it’s only a select handful at this point.
Do you do parties and catering?
We will do special events upon request if the quantities and the preparedness of the guests permits but that is only upon very special request. Our main source of production is the packaged good that folks can take home and heat up. But we do occasionally do events where we will bring out the waffle irons and we will make fresh waffles right before people’s eyes.
What were you doing before you got into the waffle business?
Brian: I worked for a life science company. I’m a trained biochemist. I was a global business director and strategy director for that organization.
Andrea: I was in the finance world as a manager, project manager, you name it.
How has life changed doing this? Is this an ‘all-in’ proposition?
We are all-in on Waffatopia and it feels completely rewarding so far. We’re only four months in to our business and they’re selling like hot cakes. They’re really moving well. People enjoy the product so we’re hoping to be able to expand soon.
More details about where to find Waffatopia is available on the company’s website.